25 November 2009

the kindness of strangers

New York Mag was soliciting entries from this city's beautiful people about how their New York existence has once been touched by the unexpected kindness of strangers. My story:

Before I had a permanent address in NY I was crashing at a friend's whilst doing an internship. One crazy day I left my purse in a cab, containing all my valuables including passport, mobile, keys, wallet and diary. I was completely lost without them! I managed to track down my friend that night, who said a stranger left a message for him that he had my purse and I could pick it up the next day. Turns out the cab passenger after me had picked up my purse, rifled through my IDs, and seeing no NY address, rifled through my diary and happened upon my friend's phone number scribbled in a margin. I was able to get my purse back the very next day with everything in it, but how do you thank someone properly who just saved your ass in so many ways?! I gratefully babbled my thanks and quickly ran out. I couldn't look him in the eye, after all, he read my diary! For that stranger, thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I wish you all the good karma in the world. Now whenever someone talks shit about how nasty New Yorkers are, I tell them this story.

I think I've missed blogging.

29 May 2009


Been a minute. I think I've forgotten how to write.
Blogging isn't conducive to proper sentence construction, FYI. Which is a problem, as I'm trying to throw something together for my dear friend Auds, or rather more specifically, the magazine that she edits. It's a piece about volunteer vacations, which got me thinking back to this poor neglected blog.

Anyhu, things are good. Hope they are with you as well. ;)

I'll be back. For now, I leave you with joke:

18 March 2009


Today's fortune:

It'll be in your interest to provide yourself with moments of composure so as to recover your peace of mind. Nothing is ever granted beforehand; continue to fight.

17 March 2009

erin go bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day internets!

While I myself am not Irish by blood, nor have I ever visited the country, I do have a special affinity for this day and generally all things Irish because the country happens to be my namesake. Hey, any excuse to drink beer and engage in hooliganism during daylight hours.

From Wikipedia:

Erin is a Hiberno-English derivative of the Irish word "Éirinn". ("Éirinn" is the dative case of the Irish word for Ireland - "Éire", genitive "Éireann"). According to Irish mythology and folklore, the name was originally given to the island by the Milesians after the goddess Ériu. Poets and nineteenth-century Irish nationalists used Erin in English as a romantic name for Ireland. In this context, along with Hibernia, Erin is the name sometimes given to the female of Ireland. Erin go bragh ("Éirinn go brách" in standard orthography), a slogan dating from the 1798 revolution, is often translated as "Ireland forever". The etymological history of the word as it drifted throughout the Gaelic region gave rise to its use by the early Scots to both mean Ireland and "west" - as Ireland lies to the west of Scotland.

Here's wishing that you find your lucky charms today and have a not-so-painful hangover tomorrow! Now pass them carbombs this way.

05 March 2009

floating on a life-saver

Captain's log:

Day 390(-ish) with no steady employment. Still drifting aimlessly out at sea, no land in sight. A few mirages have appeared, but after toying with my weary mind they've now faded, along with most of my resolve to stay hopeful. Buoyancy is compromised. Yarrrrr! Where's the plank so I can jump off?

OK it's been a hot minute since I posted anything of substance here. Or anything, period. It's just very hard to write about nothing day in and day out. Le sigh. But here's hoping the tides are turning very soon. Things are starting to happen. Cross fingers.

To combat my dreadful boredom, add a little oomph to my resume and meet some new peeps, I've started volunteering again-- doing what I do well, which is working for no money (siiiigh). I signed up with New York Cares, a nifty little group that organizes well-meaning do-gooders throughout the city by hooking them up with appropriate volunteer opportunities. I chose the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center, a community-based non-profit organization whose mission is "to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug-related harm among injection drug users and the community." The philosophy of harm reduction is recognizing that drug users and the larger community are deserving of the same basic human right to health and well-being that we all are, and aims to promote this through practical and non-judgmental provision of information and services. So I spent my Valentines Day promoting L-O-V-E by packaging condoms and educational materials for dissemination around the city-- a much more productive use of my time than a candlelit dinner and pink roses and teddy bears and all that Hallmark nonsense (and also because I did not have a date). My guide/supervisor for the day was the uber-exuberant Tino, who took a whole extra hour post-assignment to talk with me about additional ways I could be involved with the group in a non-volunteer capacity (i.e. I get PAID beeyatch!). So sweet of him, and am definitely looking further into this now.

At the end of it all, he asked me why do I do these things, choose to work with these people, in these situations. I'm not sure what the correct answer is to that..? I said I've tried other things (I used to be in advertising, can you believe?), but nothing else was as fulfilling for me as this line of work. He said "ok I'll accept that." Then I added, "it's for the penance of my tainted soul." I think that was the million dollar answer. He just laughed.

30 January 2009

what tomorrow may bring

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan (which I started to read but got distracted- will give another shot), gives his 10 rules for living with dignity amidst an uncertain world. Needless to say, it is resonating soundly with me these days.
(originally found from one of my favorite blogs, the incomparable Jessica Zafra)

1 Scepticism is effortful and costly. It is better to be sceptical about matters of large consequences, and be imperfect, foolish and human in the small and the aesthetic.

2 Go to parties. You can’t even start to know what you may find on the envelope of serendipity. If you suffer from agoraphobia, send colleagues.

3 It’s not a good idea to take a forecast from someone wearing a tie. If possible, tease people who take themselves and their knowledge too seriously.

4 Wear your best for your execution and stand dignified. Your last recourse against randomness is how you act — if you can’t control outcomes, you can control the elegance of your behaviour. You will always have the last word.

5 Don’t disturb complicated systems that have been around for a very long time. We don’t understand their logic. Don’t pollute the planet. Leave it the way we found it, regardless of scientific ‘evidence’.

6 Learn to fail with pride — and do so fast and cleanly. Maximise trial and error — by mastering the error part.

7 Avoid losers. If you hear someone use the words ‘impossible’, ‘never’, ‘too difficult’ too often, drop him or her from your social network. Never take ‘no’ for an answer (conversely, take most ‘yeses’ as ‘most probably’).

8 Don’t read newspapers for the news (just for the gossip and, of course, profiles of authors). The best filter to know if the news matters is if you hear it in cafes, restaurants... or (again) parties.

9 Hard work will get you a professorship or a BMW. You need both work and luck for a Booker, a Nobel or a private jet.

10 Answer e-mails from junior people before more senior ones. Junior people have further to go and tend to remember who slighted them.

I especially like #6. Mastering the error part. Yes.

28 January 2009


Happy Lunar New Year! 2009 is the Year of the Ox. (at first I accidentally typed "Year of the Ex"- dear God, I hope not!) Anyway.

Happy to have another chance at starting the year right. Honestly the last 3 weeks have just been kinda ehhhh, after the great climatic ending I had to 2008. Unlike last year, I entered this one without any clear plans, so the next 12 months are just one big question mark. My one and only resolution is "find job." I think that's pressure enough. No need to add to that!

And so I look to the cosmos once again for some direction or some hint at what lies in store for me this year's rotation around the solar system. This time though with a healthy dose of skepticism, as last year's rat threatened many terrible things that thankfully didn't materialize. Quite the opposite, actually.

(taken from

"Some of those obstacles or troubles in 2008 will carry over to 2009. The first half of the year, Horse people still need to handle things slowly and surely and to avoid face-to-face conflict with your opponent. In the second half of the year, your money luck and career luck will be much stable. But it's still not the optimistic time yet. You need to stay alert on your job, investment and health."
Ok, so it's a bittersweet year ahead. Difficulties for the first half of the year, some of which I'm definitely feeling right now. But who is my opponent?? Could it be- dum dum dum!- myself? I hold myself back? Am I seriously over-analyzing these predictions conjured up in a fortune cookie company by Chinese immigrants who can't really speak English?

"Career: There are many Unlucky Stars showing in career area in 2009. The signs indicate that you cannot concentrate on your daily work quite often. The schedule of business or project will be slow down. Fortunately, there also is a strong Lucky Moon Star appearing in 2009. That means someone will show up to support and help you to solve the problems of entanglement. So you cam escape from those troubles and will work back into the normal track."
What! I can't have any more unlucky stars in my career area! Hello I've been unemployed all year! If I slow down anymore I will stop breathing. Ughhhh. Who is this mysterious "someone"? I need to identify the cast of characters in this fortune.

"Money: A big Unlucky Star from 2008 is gone, but a tiny Unlucky Star appears in 2009. This means that the money luck of Horse people is still struggling. The career is a big factor to determine your money luck. Since you don't have a good sign in career, you shouldn't expect your income will increase from there."
Ugh, no kidding. Tell me something I don't already know. And some good news please, for the love of God!

"Love: There is a Love Star coming in 2009."
Ok! There's a great start!
"However, this Love Star is not a Marriage Star."
"That means you have a chance to meet someone you like. Both of you will produce the passion in love. But this relationship won't last too long."
Another year of broken hearts. My mother's, that is.

"Health: Unlucky Hurting and Disease Stars still gather in 2009. The signs indicate illness, exhaustion, panic, fright or weakness coming to people."
Well I'd guess that no job, money, or love might cause even the strongest of horses illness, exhaustion, panic, fright and weakness, don't you agree?

"Horse people must make sure have enough sleep during the night. Otherwise, they will have weak energy and weak resistance against the disease."
Well I got this one covered at least! Unemployment = plenty of sleepy time.

"Plus, you might have more social hours in your nightlife and not pay attention on your eating and drinking. Then, the headache and digestive system will often bother you in 2009."
At least my social life is looking up. Heh.

"Fortune: In general, Horse people don't have a good luck in 2009, but their luck have significant improvement when comparing with 2008. However, you still need to focus on your moves all the time to prevent any mistakes caused by neglect. Luckily, whenever you encounter the big difficulty, someone will appear to solve the problem for you. Therefore, you shouldn't give up anything when troubles come to challenge you. As long as you follow the rule and insist the principle, you will be fine in the year."
Ok! If I just follow the rule and insist the principle everything will be fine! I feel so much better already.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful year.